Far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos claims he "set up" the highly controversial dinner between former Republican President Donald Trump, White nationalist Nick Fuentes and rapper Ye at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate "to make Trump's life miserable."
In an interview with NBC, Yiannopoulos took credit for the meeting, saying he'd planned for Fuentes to travel with Ye and hopefully gain access to Trump.
Yiannapoulos said he knew the meeting would generate negative press for Trump, suggesting he sees it as payback for his own fall from grace within the right-wing.
“I wanted to show Trump the kind of talent that he’s missing out on by allowing his terrible handlers to dictate who he can and can’t hang out with."
“I also wanted to send a message to Trump that he has systematically repeatedly neglected, ignored, abused the people who love him the most, the people who put him in office, and that kind of behavior comes back to bite you in the end.”
Yiannopoulos stressed he simply wanted "to make Trump's life miserable" because he knew the news about the dinner would leak, though his account of the events leading up to the dinner were disputed by Fuentes.
Fuentes—who has been cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for his hateful rhetoric and previously advocated for "something like Taliban rule in America"—said Yiannapoulos' claim is "not true at all."
“My intention was not to hurt Trump by attending the dinner, that is fake news. I love Donald Trump.”
Whatever Yiannapoulos' reasons for orchestrating the meeting, it generated him more press than he's received in the last few years.
Once a leading figure in the alt-right movement, Yiannopoulos—who rose to prominence as an editor for the far-right conspiracy website Breitbart News—was permanently banned from Twitter for online harassment of actress Leslie Jones and permanently banned from Facebook in 2019.
Yiannopoulos became persona non grata within the alt-right and the Republican Party at large after he was accused of advocating pedophilia.
He was forced to resign from his position at Breitbart, had an invitiation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) revoked and had a contract to publish his autobiography canceled after he said sexual relationships between 13-year-old boys and adult men and women can be "perfectly consensual" and positive experiences for the boys.
Yiannopoulos' revelation only added to the contention surrounding the meeting, prompting many on social media to weigh in with their criticisms.
Trump attempted to distance himself from Ye and Fuentes since the news about their dinner broke.
Trump insisted he didn't know who Fuentes was even though sources told reporters Trump openly praised Fuentes during the dinner Fuentes attended as the guest of Ye, who recently announced a 2024 presidential bid on the Republican ticket.
However, there is no indication that Trump didn't know who Fuentes was, and according to Ye, Trump was "very impressed" with Fuentes—who referred to Trump as a personal "hero"—and The New York Times reported that Trump declared he liked Fuentes, even saying that Fuentes "gets me."
Fuentes, for his part, said on his podcast he "had a very interesting dinner" with Ye and Trump, though he added he feels "a little bit embarrassed in a certain sense because, you know, this has become a little bit of a scandal for President Trump."
The meeting has been condemned by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and even prominent Trumpists in the GOP have said it was "ridiculous" for Trump to meet with Fuentes because in doing so, he "legitimized" Fuentes' "disturbing" views.